Sustainable development is good for business
June 6, 2017 — Jennifer Wills

  Businesses are integrating sustainable development principles into their decisions and strategies to reduce risk, save money, increase innovation, and protect the planet. This article discusses two ways businesses are doing this: collaboration/partnerships and supply chain sustainability. For instance, collaboration can provide private-sector companies with tools to reevaluate particular operations (e.g., The Nature Conservancy helped Dow value ecosystem services) or to evaluate their supply chains (e.g., Bayer used a tool created by EcoVadis to assess suppliers to ensure sustainable procurement).… Read More
When It Comes to Climate Change, Treat the Cause, Not the Symptoms
June 5, 2017 — Bruce Hull

Ignoring a disease can ruin your life. For most diseases, people have two choices: cure the causes or treat the symptoms. Take obesity as an example. Two causes are overeating and lack of exercise. People can cure obesity by dieting and exercise or they can treat the symptoms with insulin injections, blood pressure medicines, knee replacements, and other expensive and invasive procedures. The cure requires a bit of self-restraint, but provides other benefits like lower medical expenses, better job prospects,… Read More
Why India Matters
May 10, 2017 — Bruce Hull

India is becoming the most consequential country in history (again). Over a million people a month are joining its workforce. Almost as many are moving into its cities. The bulge in educated and motivated people provides a “demographic dividend” with tremendous hope and promise. The “dependency ratio” of workers to total population is huge, which means more workers, more saving, more investing, more consumption, and more growth—a self-reinforcing growth feedback loop (China’s dependency ratio is declining and hence they risk… Read More
The End of Expertise: And Why That Is A Giant Problem for the Anthropocene
March 2, 2017 — Bruce Hull

Two game-changing coattails that Trump road to the presidency are fake news and distrusted expertise. They also usher into mainstream governance an end to rationality, modernity, enlightened self-interest, and related strategies and hopes that we can think our way out of the challenges we face. These are deeply troubling trends for those of us concerned with the highly technical, enormously complex, wickedly interdependent sustainability challenges of meeting the needs of 2-5 billion new middle class consumers while sustaining a climate… Read More
Population is Not the Problem
March 2, 2017 — Bruce Hull

The “population bomb” narrative is problematic for sustainable development professionals and advocates. We should not put ourselves in the unpopular, misanthropic, and unwinnable business of shaming parents. Instead, we have a much more optimistic, hopeful, and inspiring mission: we are in the business of development, which, it turns out, is the most effective way to slow population growth (see below). Humanity’s biggest challenge is not exploding population growth as the bomb narrative implies; it is, instead, dealing with the prosperity… Read More